How to Hire an IoT Developer (And Avoid Craigslist!)
Category: Internet of Things
Internet of Things technology does something that was difficult to do until recently — it seamlessly bridges the gap between the Internet and “real life” objects. This task requires special skills and knowledge that take time and dedication to acquire. Hiring just any developer to figure the technology out simply won’t do. So the question is: how do you find “the one”?
What skills should you look for in an IoT development team?
When hiring your Internet of Things development team, be aware that there is a particular set of skills required. These can be possessed by various people in the team, but all of them must be represented:
- IoT hardware. With the Internet of Things, software is tied closely to the hardware. Skilled IoT developers must be familiar with embedded systems as well as prototyping. They also need to understand what goes into IoT hardware.
- Networking. Since the essence of the Internet of Things is being connected, it is extremely important to set up IoT networks. Often this will involve integrating the device into the existing network and making sure the IoT system follows the current networking rules. Developers must know how to set up reliable and secure data transmission pathways.
- Security. The proliferation of Internet-enabled devices means there is a stronger possibility of being hacked and infected with malware. A skilled IoT programmer must know how to set up a secure IoT network with data encryption, IP protection, and proper private key management.
- Application design (UI/UX). The application serves as a bridge for communication between the IoT system and a user. The user may need to be trained on how to use the app, but its interface must be as user-friendly, intuitive, and responsive as possible.
- Mobile application development. IoT users are more likely to communicate with the system through a mobile app than a web or desktop interface; smartphones have already entered the workspace as managing tools. That’s why it is crucial to develop a responsive app that is consistent in design with its desktop or web companions.
- Automation. Ensuring smooth performance of the IoT system is another essential. Testing automation will help ensure the reliability of large amounts of data and interfaces.
- Business Intelligence. Because IoT generates lots of potentially useful data, it is important for developers to understand the value of various pieces of information. That means expertise in data center management and predictive analytics is important, to decide how the data should be stored and processed.
- Data science. The Internet of Things is centered on data gathered by IoT devices. With large amounts of data being pushed by the IoT system, knowledge of Big Data helps in collecting relevant info and processing it correctly.
- Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have a huge impact on the way your IoT system interprets data. These technologies will allow the system to predict possible outcomes, adapt to constantly changing conditions, and generate autonomous responses.
What does it cost to hire an IoT developer?
Another important consideration when hiring your Internet of Thing developer is how much this process will cost. Obviously, salaries vary depending on the experience, skills, and even location of your developer, but you can still search for a price that best suits your business.
“Typically, skilled IoT software developers earn one-third more than software developers in other fields. The difference is due to the much higher requirements for IoT developers: they need deep expertise within multiple areas of technology, including various programming languages, middleware, IoT cloud providers, APIs, and sometimes even hardware.“
Vasil, CTO at HQSoftware.
You can compare software developers’ salaries in various countries with this comparison provided by PayScale. Unfortunately, there are no international salary reports specifically for IoT software developers. Since IoT developers possess additional skills, the exact numbers may not be accurate, but you can see the average differences among their rates below:
- The USA — a software developer earns $84,236/year on average;
- Germany — €51,797/year — that is $57,876/year;
- UK — £35,460/year — $44,832/year;
- Belarus — $24,585/year.
Numbers show that the most cost-efficient Internet of Things developers can be hired in Belarus. You might save almost $60,000 a year hiring one of them instead of a specialist from the USA.
How should I go about hiring an IoT developer?
There are actually two ways to find Internet of Things developers: you can look for freelance workers or get an outsourcing team. Each approach has its pros and cons. Let’s review those:
If you decide to work with a freelance IoT specialist, you can save a lot of money, since there are no middle-men: just the developer and you managing the IoT project. To find freelance developers, you can visit freelancing websites like:
Freelancing the project offers flexibility you can’t expect from any outsource software company. But there are major downsides, and they can be costly. For example, nobody can guarantee that the freelancer won’t drop out of the project, or leak sensitive information.
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Going with outsourcing companies is a safer option. You can find IoT developers’ listings here:
When you work with a custom software company, you get not only a team of developers involved directly in the project, but also PMs, BAs, designers, testers, and others who will help you make the most of your IoT idea. Your information is protected by an NDA, and you get trusted professionals not only developing but also managing your project and consulting you on it. You can also get dedicated IoT developers who will be working under your supervision.
How to select an IoT developer 101
Choosing the right Internet of Things developer means ensuring the best experience working on a project. It’s not easy to find the right one, but it’s possible if certain precautions are taken.
First, define the skills essential to the IoT developer for your project, to choose the most qualified one. Then, learn how much a developer/team with a particular set of skills will cost, to make sure that you won’t be over- or underpaying. Finally, decide who you would prefer to hire for your project — a freelancer or an outsourcing company.